Texas Rangers rumors: Jose Bautista, free agent outfielder for the Toronto Blue Jays, is expected to reject the qualifying offer the Jays have extended, and Nick Cafardo lists the Rangers as one of the teams that are “on the radar” for Bautista.
The Rangers have reportedly long had interest in Bautista, but their ardor has reportedly waned over the last year or so, and of course, there’s that whole fight with Rougned Odor that has to be taken into account when the Rangers weigh whether to pursue him.
The 36 year old Bautista has been an impact hitter since his breakout with the Jays in 2010, an explosion that came after years of bouncing from team to team. However, his numbers dropped in 2016, as he put up a .234/.366/.452 slash line on the year, after averaging .268/.390/.555 from 2010-15. He’s looking for an expensive, multi-year deal, but the combination of age and the recent dropoff is going to make it difficult for him, as teams are likely going to be reluctant to commit to more than two or three years.
The Rangers outfield/DH situation is a problem right now, with Shin-Soo Choo coming off an injury-plagued year and possibly being relegated to DH duties going forward, and Nomar Mazara the only other returning starting outfielder. With the need for a middle-of-the-order bat, Bautista makes a certain amount of sense theoretically, but its hard to believe that the price will be in line with what the Rangers will be looking to spend, without even taking into account the clubhouse dynamics.
Nevertheless, I’m sure the Rangers will inquire, before moving on to other options.